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1 NUMBER OF PRESCHOOL AND LDC SERVICE PROVIDERS, delivering a preschool program, by state and territory, 2012
The distribution of preschools and LDCs with preschool was not uniform across the states and territories. This reflects the different service delivery models and funding arrangements within each state and territory.
Within the states and territories, Queensland had the highest proportion of LDCs with a preschool program compared to the total number of service providers delivering a preschool program (63.5%), while Tasmania had the lowest proportion (4.3%). New South Wales was the only other state or territory where more than half of all preschool programs were represented by LDCs with a preschool program (58.9%). (For more information, see Appendix Table A1)
Government/ Non-Government within the Preschool activity type
Nationally, there were 1,885 (43.8%) government preschools and 2,422 (56.2%) non-government preschools within the preschool service activity type. All service providers in the Australian Capital Territory with the activity type, Preschool, were government managed. There were a number of non-government service providers in the Australian Capital Territory however all were classified as LDC. Northern Territory had the next highest proportion of government preschools (93.6%), followed by South Australia (92.4%) and Western Australia and Tasmania both with 72.1%. These were in contrast to 17.9% government preschools in New South Wales, 19.9% in Victoria and 24.1% in Queensland. (For more information, see Appendix Table A1)
In 2012, there were 273,297 episodes of children enrolled in a preschool program in Australia. Of all enrolled episodes, 82.5% were aged 4 years while 17.5% were aged 5 years. Of the total number of enrolled episodes, 62.8% were delivered at a preschool service provider while 37.2% were delivered at a LDC with a preschool program.
Of the 171,729 enrolled episodes at a preschool, 40.2% were in Government preschools and 59.8% were in Non-Government preschools.
Based on the main provider for a child (particularly where the child had more than one episode of enrolment), New South Wales had the highest proportion of children enrolled in LDC with a preschool program whereas the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of children enrolled in government preschools. The distribution presented below reflects the different delivery models in each state and territory.
In 2012, there were 265,691 episodes of children attending a preschool program in Australia. The distribution of children attending a preschool program in 2012, by age, varied between states and territories. The distribution is also consistent with enrolments by state and territory. These variations largely reflect the different primary school starting age applicable in each state and territory. For more information on both preschool and primary school starting ages, please refer to the National ECEC Collection: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2012 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001).
All states and territories, other than Victoria, recorded the highest proportion of child enrolments in a preschool program in the 'Enrolled 15 hours or more' range. The highest proportions of children in a preschool program in the 'Enrolled 15 hours or more' range occurred in Tasmania (91.2%), the Northern Territory (87.0%) and South Australia (84.0%) while the lowest proportion was in Victoria (33.5%). Victoria recorded the highest distribution of children in a preschool program in the 'Enrolled 10-14 hours' per week range (63.9%).
7 DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD ENROLMENT HOURS IN A PRESCHOOL PROGRAM, by hour ranges and state and territory, 2012
The highest distribution of children attending a preschool program in the 'Attended 15 hours or more' per week range occurred in Tasmania (67.3%), New South Wales (56.1%), South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, both with 55.2%. The highest distribution of children attending a preschool program in the 'Attended 10-14 hours' per week range occurred in Western Australia (93.8%) and Victoria (51.9%).
8 DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD ATTENDANCE HOURS IN A PRESCHOOL PROGRAM, by hour ranges and state and territory, 2012
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 80.8% of child enrolment episodes were delivered at a preschool while 19.2% were delivered at a LDC with a preschool program. In comparison, 62.8% of total child enrolment episodes were delivered at a preschool and 37.2% were at a LDC with a preschool program.
By remoteness, the numbers of Indigenous children enrolled in a preschool program were highest in Remote and Very Remote areas for the Northern Territory, while in South Australia the highest number of Indigenous children were in the Major Cities area. Indigenous child enrolments were more evenly spread in Western Australia across Major Cities, Inner/Outer Regional and Remote/Very Remote areas.
In 2012, no worker information was available from the Child Care Management System (CCMS), which was the primary source of information for the LDC sector in the majority of states and territories. The worker numbers presented are an underestimate of actual worker population because of the LDC sector worker undercount.
In 2012, there were 24,008 episodes of workers delivering a preschool program within Australia. Of all episodes of workers delivering a preschool program, 9,427 were workers who had a 'Three year bachelor degree or above' in a field relevant to Early Childhood Education.
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